25 November 2018

Ethiopia: Political Dialogue, Strengthening Institutions Priorities to Sustain Reform - Political Parties

Addis Ababa — Leaders of different political parties emphasized the need for inclusive political dialogue and building strong democratic institutions to deepen and sustain the ongoing reform in Ethiopia.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed disclosed that he is ready to confer with opposition party leaders registered in Ethiopia and parties that have recently returned home from exile on Tuesday.

The discussion will reportedly focus on the ongoing sweeping reform and democratization process in the country, it was indicated.

Moreover, the talk will spotlight on the electoral reforms required to be addressed in order to make the upcoming national election democratic, free and fair.

Ethiopia Social Democratic Party Chairman, Professor Beyene Petros told ENA ongoing reform and the government's bold move to widen political space are appreciable.

"We support and welcome the reforms as excellent and will cooperate to elevate our efforts to ensure the desired results through genuine discussion and consultation," Beyene pointed out.

The country's political platform is creating optimism among all political parties, he said, and added "however, the electoral board under the new chairperson should undertake profound reforms like capacitating its human capital."

According to him, the government must create a platform for collaborative and inclusive political dialogue to bring about inclusive and sustainable change in the country.

Arena Party Chairman, Abreha Desta pledged that his party will play its role to realize the results as the ruling party, EPRDF, alone cannot sustain peace and security across the nation.

Ethiopia need to build neutral and independent institutions to ensure equality, Abreha said, and added "to sustain the democratization process, the government and opposition parties need to persistently pursue discussions."

"Although Burtikan Mideksa appointment as Chairperson of the electoral board is a very good opportunity for both the government and opposition parties, it is a huge burden and requires her extensive effort to revise the electoral board," he pointed out.

Oromo Federalist Congress Deputy Chairman, Gebru Gebremariam expressed his party's readiness to support the government's initiative to institutionalize the ongoing reform for "institutionalizing the reform will bring about public trust and reliability."

Urging political parties to provide genuine support on the right and criticize of the wrong parts of the reform, he emphasized the need to enhance tolerance and reach consensus in various issues among all political parties.

"Government should create bilateral and multilateral platforms for opposition parties to discuss and negotiate and bring about genuine democracy," Gebru noted.

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